Home » Political-Corner  » What is the Procedure for Trust Vote in Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha

What is the Procedure for Trust Vote in Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha

Posted by Admin on November 17, 2014 | Comment

It’s a fact that a democratically elected government must enjoy the confidence of Parliament or State Assembly in order to stay in power. At times, certain political equations put a question mark on the credibility of the ruling party and that’s when the party finds it obligatory to know whether it still enjoys the confidence of the House.

Procedure for Trust Vote in Indian Lok Sabha

In Lok Sabha, trust vote is generally sought during the first session with the newly elected government at the helm. This voting is considered as the ideal mechanism to understand whether a party or a coalition commands a majority in the House. Vote of trust can also be optimised at any time during the five-year tenure of the House if it appears that the ruling party has lost its majority or for some reasons the support base of the Prime Minister (PM) has depleted. The process of trust vote is initiated by the PM by moving a resolution seeking support for his government.

Vote of Trust : Role of the President

On July 22, 2008, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had approached the then President Pratibha Patil and offered to seek a trust vote in Parliament after the Left withdrew its support over the India-US Nuclear deal.

In a different scenario, if the PM doesn’t call on the President and seeks a trust vote, the onus shifts on the President to decide on whether to allow the PM to continue in office. Since the PM holds office as long as it continues to win the confidence of the President, the former can be removed if the President is convinced that a trust vote is called for but it’s not being sought. Generally, this doesn’t happen since the PM normally accedes to the President’s request to seek a vote of confidence.

However, it’s to be noted that there’s no such provision in the constitution and the concept of ‘trust vote’ or a ‘confidence motion’ doesn’t exist in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha. It’s only expected of the President “to act in a manner consistent with tradition and which furthers democracy.”

What Happens When The Government Loses Trust Vote ?

The government is expected to resign if it loses a trust vote. In case its refuses to do so, the President has the power to remove the PM. In the history of Indian Parliament, no Prime Minister has been forcibly removed so far.  After a government loses a trust vote and resigns, it will still continue to function, but as a caretaker government retaining almost the same powers as it had before the voting.

However, a caretaker government wouldn’t have the power to take any major policy decisions since Parliament remains dissolved. Although such a government refrains from announcing any important legislation or agreements, yet it has the power to broadcast ordinances in case of exigencies. The caretaker government ceases to exist after the General Elections are conducted and a new government gets elected.

Vote of Trust: State Government 

Like the PM, the Chief Minster also stays in power as long as it retains the confidence of the state Assembly. The Trust Vote or Confidence Vote is proposed by the party in power in order to demonstrate that it still enjoys the support of the majority of MLAs.

This initiative is often looked upon as a strategy of the state government to pre-empt a no-confidence motion by the opposition parties. If the results of the trust vote don’t appear to be in favour of the ruling party, the Governor of the state orders resignation of the Chief Minister and new Assembly elections are sought.

Recently, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis sought and won the motion of confidence through a voice vote in the state Assembly, though the Opposition insisted on a division of votes.